Last week, we discussed translating major exercises to minor. Now we’ll go a step further and look at some exercises in the other modes.
To me, modes were just a bunch of Greek names I memorized during undergraduate music theory. I never practiced them and I never played them (as far as I knew). But modes are a great stepping-stone to jazz and world music and a wonderful challenge in the practice room.
Let’s take a moment to understand the modes. Continue reading “Sunday Scales 19: À la mode”
This week we’re going to talk about minor – I’m sure you know it’s important, but do you actually practice it? In my case, I never practiced it much for two reasons: first, most exercises and etudes are in major keys; and second, the three minor modes make it confusing to translate exercises to minor. So this week, we’re going to look at a few scale patterns from previous article and show what they might look like in various minor modes. Continue reading “Sunday Scales 18: Minor misunderstandings”
Building on our efforts of two weeks ago, we’re back with more Plog (see below) and another attempt at memorization by chunking. This time, we’ll look at an exercise from volume three, built around the major second (M2) interval:
Continue reading “Sunday Scales 17: More Plog, more chunks”
Let’s take a look at another Stamp exercise, this time from the Supplemental Studies:
Yowza. Continue reading “Sunday Scales 16: Stamp (part 3)”
Anthony Plog’s “fingering exercises and etudes” from his Method for Trumpet (see below) make for fun practicing. This week we’ll take a look at Vol. 2, Ex. 7:
At sixteen measures, this is on the longer side for a scale pattern. How are we going to memorize it? With two techniques. The first is already in this article’s title: “Divide and Conquer.”
Continue reading “Sunday Scales 15: Divide and conquer the chunks”
Chris Gekker is one of my favourite trumpeters, for his many recordings as a soloist and with the American Brass Quintet (1 2 3), for his writings (see: one of my favourite articles about practicing trumpet) and for his book Articulation Studies.
Even though, as the title suggests, the book is intended to assist articulation, most of the exercises are built around scale patterns and many would work equally well slurred or tongued. Either way they are classics.
Continue reading “Sunday Scales 14: Mr. Gekker”
Max Schlossberg is primarily known to brass players today as the “author” of the book Daily Drills and Technical Exercises. This book contains exercises by Schlossberg, however it was only put together after his death by his son-in-law Harry Freistadt, and it can be a bit confusing to work through.
In his day, though, Schlossberg was a sought-after performer and teacher, being hired by the New York Philharmonic while Mahler was at the helm (!). As the stories go, he had a marvelous ability to diagnose students’ issues on the fly, and he would write out exercises during lessons tailored to their specific problems. This means that the performance instructions (range, dynamics, articulations, etc.) would often be completely different when two different students received the same exercise.
Regardless, many exercises in the book are classics for all brass players, and Schlossberg’s teachings echo through the works of the major brass pedagogues of the twentieth century. Here are a few notable examples:
Continue reading “Sunday Scales 13: Mr. Schlossberg”